Pop Montreal: Premiere Nuit
Night One of Pop Montreal began in a wave of harsh weather that had bombarded the Montreal area for the entire day. Although the major spectacle of the eve was Gonzales, I took a different route and looked at some small shows around town. Besides getting lost in the cold, I eventually found my bearings and ended up where I needed to be.
To begin the fun, I went to Le Divan Orange, a narrow-necked bar with a stage in the back, to see Vancouver's The Winks. The band is Psych-Pop with some sassy cuteness inserted into their attire and attitude. The act began with Tyr Jami, on the Cello, starting out with a tuning riff that led into the other members banging and shaking percussion all over the place. Drum sticks nearly hit me. Anyways, they came on stage and performed their kooky, fun, psych-y style of pop with unique tunes and confetti-throwing alike. For one song, Jami came out into the floor and sang a cover which included her tap-dancing and bending about. The Winks are a little confusing when you witness their fun in a live setting, but on record, they're easy to romp along with. An advised listen to their recorded material is in order before attending a live show.
Knowing where I was going now, I headed way up Rue Saint-Laurent in the wonky cold to finally find The Green Room. Guelph's The D'Urbervilles were just getting on stage and prepping for their set. Beginning it the same way as always, the band did the "Sharks! Jets!" intro, followed by their regular slew of music, followed by more music, and finally, followed by more hand-clapping. It's always exciting to see the same bands over and over again. It's also fun to not get bored of them. The D'Urbervilles are starting to receive more attention as their not-too-complex sound of alt-rock doesn't seem too difficult to take in. Energy always comes off the stage when they play. Lead singer John O'Regan never slows down and never skips a beat as he finds some left-over energy and scurries around the crowd, running and clapping hands. It's not bad that people don't get involved with the action, but sooner or later, people are going to succumb to this band. When that happens, people won't be so shy to get involve and grab a tambourine.
After The D'Urbervilles were Cities In Dust, who unfortunately did not grab me at all. The songs had rocking force with no direction and vocals that were 1-2-3-4 stuff with intention to make people get up and dance, but to no avail. As their set wasn't too long, The Diableros took the stage and jacked up their amps 10 times to blow the roof off The Green Room. Ever since their CD Release over a year ago, the band has gotten louder and louder. Anyways, new bassist from Uncut Ian Worang joined The Diableros after the recent departure of their former bassist (that's three bassists now, right?). This being his first show with the band, he held on pretty well keeping up and getting into the set. A small stage for a rather large band, The Diableros played a solid set with lots of distortion, recklessness and no regard for the neighbours. The band will be touring soon across Canada and then will attempt to go into the studio to record some new material, most of which is currently being played during their shows.
Night Two will most likely include The Ghost Is Dancing, Forest City Lovers, Basia Bulat and hometown heroes Plants & Animals. Keep your eyes here!!!
Photos from Night One:
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